German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew into the lion's den on Tuesday, visiting Greek leaders in Athens where protesters came out in force to tell her exactly what they think of Germany's role in the eurozone. Merkel will only be in Greece for six hours, but police are on high alert with thousands of anti-riot and anti-terror cops swarming the captial and rooftop snipers on standby should things get out of hand. This will be Merkel's first visit to the country since their debt crisis began back in 2009.
Protests were already underway on Monday night, with some in the street wearing Nazi uniforms and others carrying signs saying "No to a Fourth Reich" and comparing Merkel to Hitler. Many public employees are going on strike today, even though protests have been banned in central Athens. Dozens of arrests have already been made, though the violence and fires that have plagued some of the previous Greek protests has not emerged... yet.
Merkel's visit is an attempt to shore up support for new Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and reassure the fragile government that Germany wants Greece to stay in the eurozone. But to the people yelling in the street, Merkel remains the embodiment of Europe's bullying of Greece—demanding draconian tax rates and massive spending cuts in exchange for bailouts that don't seem to be helping.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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